Vacation aboard an aircraft legend

The era of the Transall C-160 in the German Air Force ended more than two years ago. On September 23, 2021, the Bundeswehr retired its "Angel of the Skies" at Hohn Air Base in Schleswig-Holstein, after 53 years of service. At this point, six airworthy examples were still in service with the last remaining Transall unit, the 63rd Air Transport Wing. Nonetheless, the military transporter still has a considerable fan base. For more than half a century, the robust Transall not only reliably transported people and materials, but in numerous aid flights to crisis regions, also saved thousands of lives, particularly in Africa.
Photos: Oliver Harborth [1, 3], Michael Grünagel [2, 4-7]

A total of 110 Transall aircraft were delivered to the German Air Force starting 1968. Their tasks will be assumed by Airbus A400M aircraft and, in future, the C-130J Hercules. But the hearts of many aviation enthusiasts still belong to the "Trall" or "Brummel", as it is affectionately known among fans. No other Bundeswehr aircraft has such a positive image and has contributed so much to Germany's reputation in the world as the legendary Transall.

The proud owner of the Trallotel in the large and small scale. Dominik Weil sells the 1/200 Herpa model exclusively at Photo: Dominik Weil

One of its biggest devotees is travel entrepreneur Lance Corporal Dominik Weil from Hunsrück. Back in 2013, he and his two friends Dominic Jung and Michael Busch were already thinking about buying a decommissioned Transall and saving it from the scrapyard. However, a project like this must of course have a business case, in particular regarding tourism. So, Weil came up with the idea of converting the aircraft into a vacation home, the so-called "Trallotel". You may remember WingsWorld reported on the project in its penultimate 5/2022 print issue.

The logo of the decommissioned Transall C-160, which is now to be converted into an extraordinary vacation home at Zweibrücken airfield. Photo: Dominik Weil

Final touch-down in Zweibrücken

Finally, Dominik Weil spoke to the VEBEG trust company, which handles the sale of decommissioned military equipment. They signaled their general approval for the project, which only really took off at the end of 2021 when the last Transall aircraft were decommissioned at Lufttransportgeschwader 63 in Hohn. Now things had to move quickly. The airfield in Langenlonsheim was Weil’s preferred base, a wine-growing community in Rhineland-Palatinate, but was deemed unsuitable by the Bundeswehr because of its landing approach being too steep for the almost 30-tonne transport aircraft, and so Weil chose Zweibrücken airfield in the southwest of Rhineland-Palatinate as the new home for his extraordinary project. Familiar territory for the Transall, as it had often been a guest here during Bundeswehr exercises.

The Transall from the inside. Photos: Oliver Harborth [1, 2 and 5], Franz Stadler [3, 4 and 6]

On December 7, 2021, the time had come. 50+79 took off from Hohn for the last time and landed in Zweibrücken, almost 800 kilometers to the southwest, under the gaze of numerous spectators and the water fountains of the airport fire department. Here, the 54 square meter and 32 meter long decommissioned and demilitarized transport aircraft was now to be transformed into an extraordinary vacation home with a living area, dining table, kitchenette, bathroom and toilet, and beds on the loading ramp sleeping up to six people. The look of the C-160 would remain as unchanged as possible, both inside and out, and the cockpit completely accessible. Only the floor had to be covered with laminate because of the risk of tripping on the eyelets for lashing down cargo. Incidentally, the identification of this Transall hints at the price Dominik Weil had to pay for the military transporter. "The price tag is still on it," he laughs, referring to the identification. The purchase of the "Brummel" cost him exactly 50,079 euros, which will now have to be recovered in its long term use as a tourist facility.

For the "collector's price" of 50,079 euros, Dominik Weil acquired the decommissioned Transall with the registration 50+79, which is currently raising money for the "Hilfe für Bundeswehrkinder in Not" foundation (help for military children in need) at various events.

TRALLoTEL® – the Transall AIRxperience

However, the conversion of the military transporter has been the least of the many hurdles in the implementation of the project. Much more difficult has been dealing with the numerous bureaucratic requirements. This is because converting an aircraft, even on an airfield, requires an enormous amount of time and effort in meeting all the official requirements. In future, this Transall will no longer be treated as an aircraft by the authorities, but as a building, which entails a totally different set of requirements and approvals. The project is currently undergoing this process and "the progress of all application procedures, expert opinions, statements, objections, conditions, and finally approvals will determine when TRALLoTEL® can open its doors to aviation enthusiasts," says Dominik Weil. "Realistically, that won't be before mid-2025," the experienced travel entrepreneur concludes.

But he knows how to make good use of his time in the interim, and of his Transall. At Zweibrücken airfield, for example, it is being used by the airfield operating company Triwo AG for de-icing and firefighting exercises, among other things, but has also delighted numerous visitors at several events. The C-160 now features in various events at the airfield and is used for charity campaigns. Hundreds of enthusiastic visitors have viewed the aircraft parked just a few meters from the airport fence in recent months, raising over 7,000 euros for charity. For example, the Transall was the main attraction at the US Military Vehicle Preservation (USMVP) association's Air Base Camp, which was held at the former Zweibrücken military airfield in July 2022. Here, visitors were welcome to climb into the cockpit and owners of military vehicles even able to drive into the fuselage of the Transall.

The Transall took center stage at "Air Base Camp 2022" in July 2022, an event organized by the "US Military Vehicle Preservation", or USMVP for short, dedicated to the preservation of US military vehicles. Photo: Dominik Weil

There are also plans to document the history of the Transall using display boards, glass showcases and video clips of various missions, complementing the "TRALLoTEL® - The Transall AIR Experience Aircraft" project. "A built-in flight simulator from LTG 63 should at least make virtual flights possible and the ejection seat of a McDonnell Douglas F-4F Phantom II will create a real Top Gun feeling," enthuses Dominik Weil. Even without booking an overnight stay, aviation enthusiasts will be able to fulfill their dream of flying a transporter on the only existing C-160 simulator in Germany equipped with the latest technology for one hour under pilot supervision. And in order to continue to live up to the C-160's reputation as the "Angel of the Skies", a percentage of future rental income will be donated to the " Hilfe für Bundeswehrkinder in Not" foundation (help for military children in need). It looks after children whose parents have been killed, wounded or traumatized in action.

The Transall 50+79 at its current location at Zweibrücken airfield. Due to its many years of humanitarian use, there is a large fan community that wants to save the military transporter from the scrap yard. Photo: Dominik Weil

The idea of "TRALLoTEL® - The Transall AIR Experience Aircraft" is to create an entire Transall center, which will make Transall experiences possible not only on the aircraft itself, but also in a 40-foot sea container set up alongside. The most important object will be a completely preserved Rolls Royce Tyne turboprop engine. Built from the mid-1950s, this was the most powerful propeller turbine in the Western world, and provided the Transall with an output of up to 4,100 kW per unit. It was only surpassed in the 2000s by the TP400-D6 for the Airbus A400M. The container is already in place next to the aircraft and is currently storing all kinds of Trall objects.

This 40-foot sea container is part of the "TRALLoTEL® - The Transall AIR Experience Aircraft" project, in which, among other things, a fully preserved Rolls Royce Tyne turbo-prop engine is to be exhibited. It is currently storing all kinds of TRALL objects. Photo: Dominik Weil

Already available in the small scale

Anyone for whom the approval process before Trallot’s grand opening is taking too long can already take the aircraft home with them. Dominik Weil has had his Transall produced by Herpa as a limited edition metal model in the 1:200 scale. With rotating propellers and wheels on the main landing gear as well as a loading ramp that can be opened and closed, the model is particularly detailed. Even the entrance with built-in stairs for the crew is movable. The model is limited to 500 pieces and is numbered on both the box and the certificate enclosed. It is available exclusively from Weil's Trallotel store at and costs 119.90 euros. Here too, 10 euros from each model will go to the initiative "Hilfe für Bundeswehrkinder in Not" (help for military children in need) ( The first 300 buyers will furthermore receive the LTG 63 flyout patch free of charge. And anyone who orders the model by December 31, 2023 will receive the chronicle of LTG-63 free of charge.

Text: Thomas Borgmann
Titelphoto: Michael Grünagel

The model

Metal model of the Zweibrücken TRALLoTEL® in 1/200 scale (Herpa model no. 572309). With a labeled stand, protective box in matching camouflage with descriptive text, the coat of arms of Lufttransportgeschwader 63, and photos from December 7, 2021, the day 50+79 landed in Zweibrücken. Limited and numbered to 500 copies. The original TRALLoTEL® key fob is available in either red or green (please specify in comments). The first 300 purchasers will also receive the official flyout patch of LTG 63 in Hohn, the former home airfield of this Transall, free of charge. The model can be ordered exclusively at at the price of 119.90 euros. 10 euros from each model will go to the "Hilfe für Bundeswehrkinder in Not" (help for military children in need) ( initiative.

Transall C-160

Designation: 50+79 / D-116
Final operational squadron: LTG 63
Maiden flight: 1. Februar 1971
Length: 32,40 Meter
Wingspan: 40 Meter
Height: 12,36 Meter
Maximum speed: 513 km/h
Maximum take-off weight: 49,150 kp
2 Engines: RR Tyne 20 MK 22